Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Early and Easy Detection Of Alzheimer's Disease?

Date:
June 17, 2009
Source:
McGill University
Summary:
A new diagnostic technique which may greatly simplify the detection of Alzheimer's disease has been discovered. There is currently no accepted blood test for Alzheimer's, and the diagnosis is usually based on expensive and labor-intensive neurological, neuropsychological and neuroimaging evaluations.

A new diagnostic technique which may greatly simplify the detection of Alzheimer's disease has been discovered by researchers at McGill University and the affiliated Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research at Montreal's Jewish General Hospital (JGH).

There is currently no accepted blood test for Alzheimer's, and the diagnosis is usually based on expensive and labour-intensive neurological, neuropsychological and neuroimaging evaluations.

Dr. Hyman Schipper and colleagues at the Lady Davis Institute and McGill University utilized a new minimally-invasive technique called near-infrared (NIR) biospectroscopy to identify changes in the blood plasma of Alzheimer's patients, changes which can be detected very early after onset, and possibly in pre-clinical stages of the disease.

Biospectroscopy is the medical form of spectroscopy, the science of detecting the composition of substances using light or other forms of energy. In NIR spectroscopy, different substances emit or reflect light at specific, detectable wavelengths.

In this study, Schipper and his colleague Dr. David Burns – head of McGill's Biomedical Laboratory for Informatics, Imaging and Spectroscopy at the department of chemistry – applied near-infrared light to blood plasma samples taken from patients with early Alzheimer's dementia, mild cognitive impairment (MCI) == an intermediate state between normal cognition and dementia -- and healthy elderly control subjects at the JGH/McGill Memory Clinic. Using this technique, the researchers were able to distinguish Alzheimer's from healthy controls with 80 per cent sensitivity (correct identification of patients with the disease) and 77 per cent specificity (correct identification of persons without the disease). A significant number of subjects with MCI tested positively with the Alzheimer group, indicating that the test may be capable of detecting Alzheimer disease even before patients' symptoms meet clinical criteria for dementia.

"We are very encouraged by these data and look forward to testing this potential diagnostic tool in larger-scale studies", said Schipper, Director of the Centre for Neurotranslational Research at the JGH and professor of neurology and medicine at McGill. Researchers have been searching for a minimally-invasive biological marker that differentiates Alzheimer's disease from normal aging and other neurodegenerative conditions for decades.

"The advent of a simple blood test for the diagnosis of early Alzheimer's", remarked Schipper, "would represent a major achievement in the management of this common disorder".


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by McGill University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Near-Infrared Spectroscopy of Blood Plasma for Diagnosis of Sporadic Alzheimer Disease. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 17:2; June 8, 2009

Cite This Page:

McGill University. "Early and Easy Detection Of Alzheimer's Disease?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090616122113.htm>.
McGill University. (2009, June 17). Early and Easy Detection Of Alzheimer's Disease?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090616122113.htm
McGill University. "Early and Easy Detection Of Alzheimer's Disease?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090616122113.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Researchers say women who diet at a young age are at greater risk of developing harmful health habits, including eating disorders and alcohol abuse. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins